Friday 19 April 2013

Dizzy - Commodore 64 - 1988

Dizzy on the Commodore 64 boasts better 'Spectrum-style' graphics than the Spectrum.

Dizzy is a simple platform/graphic adventure game released in 1987 for the Sinclair Spectrum and Amstrad CPC with the Commodore 64 conversion arriving a year later.  As usual I tested all the versions to find the best.  As the game was originally programmed by the Oliver Twins I expected the Spectrum version to come in first place.  Although it has no border graphics and therefore a larger play area than both the Amstrad and Commodore versions, Dizzy on the Spectrum suffers quite badly from colour clash and has limited sound.  The Amstrad CPC offering only has four-colour graphics so was immediately discounted.  This leaves the Commodore 64 version which has the best graphics of the three and adequate (though sparse) sound effects.

The Spectrum version is colourful but suffers from clash and poor sound.  The Amstrad version on the right can only manage four colours.

In the game you take control of an anthropomorphic egg called Dizzy.  The ovoid sprite was apparently used as it was easy to rotate and animate.  The aim of the game is to collect ingredients for a potion with which to banish the evil wizard Zaks.  The ingredients need to be collected, deposited in a cauldron, cooked, then poured into a flask.  Helpfully the cauldron is on the start screen and a flaming torch and glass flask are nearby.

Dizzy is viewed from the standard side-on platform view and he somersaults around the screen rather than jumps.  Apart from the ingredients there are many other items to find a use for.  Most allow you to open up new screens or to dispatch some of the nasties that inhabit the game.  The puzzles are all logical, for example you would use the grease gun to move a rusty mine cart, a crowbar to open a trap door, a raincoat to dispel rain, or make a bucket rise from the ground by dropping a purse of gold into it.  Ok, so maybe not all of them are logical. A little trial and error is required and there is quite a bit of backtracking due to the single inventory slot.
One of the tougher screens.  I lost several lives retrieving the purse of gold.

There’s not really much more to say about Dizzy.  The graphics are good for the time and the few sound effects are ok.  The platforming elements of the game can be very challenging in places even using the extra lives that are scattered around.  The somersaults can also pose a problem as Dizzy can occasionally roll further than you want him to. It is a cheap and cheerful, enjoyable game and was a bargain at only £1.99 on release.


  1. Dizzy rules! The Speccy version though, obviously :P

  2. I'm a Speccy fan too, but in this case I have to admit the C64 pips it.